Curating in an educational setting
Digital curation is the considered selection, collection, maintenance and archiving of appropriate digital resources, which are usually centred on a particular theme. It is like creating a mini online library of resources pertinent to a particular topic. The potential impact that this can have on an educational setting is enormous. Although students are considered to be ‘digital natives’ and most students can comfortably navigate their way on the Internet and effortlessly use any device, their biggest reported issue is finding appropriate, high-quality information for research. With so much digital information available to students, many find it completely overwhelming as they have not been taught how to delve through the websites that appear in their search or how to assess it for reliability, authenticity and accuracy.
Digital curation is enormously valuable in providing appropriate content for students as the teacher librarian has already undertaken a web search and filtered out the less important information and listed quality material at the top. Many of the new digital curation tools are extremely flexible and user-friendly, allowing the teacher librarian to keep the content updated on a regular basis by deleting out-of-date resources and adding new items.
Some examples of suitable content curation tools include:
Strategies to support curation for all learners
The students at the primary school in which I presently work, do not use curation tools during class time. My first strategy would be to introduce a variety of different curating tools and to explain its significance. The students would then set up accounts and begin to collect digital resources on a given topic that they are studying in class so that it is purposeful.
The only curation tool I personally use is Diigo. I haven’t decided which one I would use in a school setting, or if I would use a combination, but I would like to set up a system for teachers to be able to access high-quality digital resources that I have initially sourced for them to be able to add to as they discover other resources or delete if out-dated. This would showcase to the students and teachers how valuable digital curation can be in managing and storing collaboratively sourced information.
Mobile digital curation and how can this be integrated into learning needs within a school
Our school is currently exploring Google Apps and its many features, such as Google Classroom. This has enabled both students and teachers to integrate their teaching and learning into a mobile setting, accessible 24/7. Students using documents and other resources in Google Apps can no longer use the excuse that their work “is lost” or they “can’t find it” as they have inadvertently saved it in an obscure place on the school’s collaborative share drive. The role of mobile digital curation would be similar in allowing students and teachers access to digital resources 24/7.
I’m currently sitting at the Big 4 Dubbo camping site under the tent annex typing this up while my kids “chillax”. I was able to get free Wi-Fi access on my laptop. The beauty of 24/7 access to technology. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go away this Easter if I couldn’t have fitted some work in the afternoons as I don’t want to fall behind. The beauty of 24/7 access to technology!
Valenza, J. (2012). Curation. School Library Monthly. 29(1), 20-23.
Valenza, J. (2011, September 30). Curation is the new search tool [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.slv.com/neverendingsearch/2011/09/30/curation-tools-are-also-search-tools/.
Content Curation unknown